It is being widely reported that Northern Ireland and the republic will introduce new drink driving limits that will mean a half of beer or a small glass of wine will put a person over the driving limit.
The BBC puts it this way:-
“In both jurisdictions, it is currently 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood.
However, Stormont Environment Minister Arlene Foster has told the assembly her department is looking at bringing in a lower limit.
In Dublin, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is expected to announce measures putting drivers who drink a half pint of strong beer or glass of wine at risk of a ban.
The new 50mg/100ml limit would come into effect in the Republic of Ireland early next year.”
This would bring Ireland/Northern Ireland into line with much of Europe where limits are lower than here. For example, Poland, Sweden and Norway have a maximum limit of 20mg/100ml of blood.
Given our drink driving performance, our frightening road death toll and our inability to control our urge to drive when drunk, I don’t suppose we have many alternatives here. I mean, how many people do you know who drink 2 or 3 pints and then drive home? A dozen or so folk? And we let them, don’t we? ‘Cos if we try to stop them they get pretty annoyed, don’t they?
But wouldn’t it be much more sensible to say that the limit is 0mg/100ml? I know that is the limit I’ve been using for the last 4-5 years. It’s expensive on taxis but I enjoy the run home more than when I was just below the legal limit. Frankly, I don’t think I could live with myself if I had an accident and I’d been drinking. Even if it wasn’t my fault I think I’d probably still blame myself. If there was zero tolerance at 0mg/100ml then it might be much easier to get to the social acceptance of a no-driving-with-alcohol-in-your-system level.
Hey.. it would make the barman’s job very easy.
“Hi Joe/Mick/Paddy/Justin/Mary/Eileen, I see you’ve got the car with you. No drink for you to-night then. [Insert big smile here/say well done etc.] Can I lock up those car keys for you until the morning?”
What do you think about this? Is it a good idea to reduce the limit or a bad idea?
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Reducing the drink driving limits to 50mg/100ml – that means one half pint of beer or a small glass of wine puts me over the limit – is: